Healing With Coca Leaf: Part Two

This series of posts – this is the second – will consist of a sampling of the Coca Leaf-based remedies for a wide range of diseases and conditions explained by Dr. William Tibbles, MD in his remarkable bookCoca Erythroxylon: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustionin 1876.


This is a chronic spasmodic affection of the air passages of the lungs, which comes on by paroxysms, usually at night, accompanied by difficult and short respiration, wheezing, tightness across the chest, cough, etc.


There is great tightness of the chest, and intense difficulty of breathing, with a loud wheezing noise and dry cough; the patient lays hold of anything near him so that all the muscles of inspiration may be brought into action; face pallid; perspiration rolls down the brow; pulse, small and weak; and the patient in the paroxysm, appears to be on the verge of suffocation.


This affection is decidedly nervous in its origin, dependent upon muscular contraction of the fibres of the bronchial tubes; the seat of the irritation may be in the pulmonary nerves, or in the medulla oblongata, or it may be due to irritation of the gastric portion of the pneumogastric nerve. The exciting causes may be stated to be, sudden changes of temperature; disorders of the digestive organs; certain effluvia; long continued nervous depression; gout, etc.


The sponge bath should be daily used. Give alternate doses of the Brain Feeder and Cherry Bark Cough Balsam in one tablespoonful of the following mixture:

Pleurisy Boot, one ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water, ten minutes,

Pour on to three quarters of an ounce of Black Cohosh Powder,

Let them stand twenty minutes, strain, and bottle for use.

An emetic powder may be given once a week, before and during its action drinking freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine in warm sweetened water.

2. Let the above general directions be minutely followed out, and then, with the administration of the following mixture, a cure will be speedily obtained.


Coca Leaf 1/2 ounce.

Lobelia Powder ½  dram.

Black Cohosh Powder 1/2 ounce.

Composition Powder 1 teaspoonful

Pour on the above one pint of boiling water, let them stand for twenty minutes, strain, add a little sugar, and bottle for use.


Two tablespoonsful to be taken three times a day. Keep the bowels in a regular condition. Let the feet be kept perfectly dry, and avoid exposure to cold.


Coughs are generally the result of improperly treated or neglected colds; when they do occur they should never be slighted, but promptly and effectually met and removed, if allowed to continue, a cough may become a serious precursor of that terrible disease – Consumption.

Common Cough is the one we shall treat of here, others, such as whooping, and consumptive coughs will be considered in their respective places.


Give a vapour bath twice a week; apply hot bottles to the feet; use all means to promote and equalize the circulation of the blood. And, as the cough is the result of deficiency of nerve force, all means, medicinally, must be used to raise the vital power of the patient. Give a dose of the Brain Feeder twice a day; and likewise a dose of the Cherry Bark Balsam twice a day in decoction of Yarrow and Pleurisy Root; keep the temperature of the room as equable as possible.

Let the patient have a sponge bath every morning on rising from bed. The patient should drink freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine, and take two or three of the Chionanthus Liver Pills daily. If the patient be under twelve years of age give, as a medicine, doses of the Child’s Restorer in marjoram tea, and the Cherry Bark Balsam twice a day. He should have warm baths on going to bed; and in the morning cold sponge baths.

Or the treatment (medicinal) of a common cough may consist of the following:


Pleurisy Root bruised … 1 ounce.

Liquorice Root bruised … ¾ ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water for five minutes, then add

Slippery Elm bark 1 ounce.

Boil again for ten minutes, then strain the boiling liquid on to the following ingredients:

Coca Leaf 1/2 ounce.

Lobelia Herb powder … 1/2 teaspoonful.

Composition powder … 1/2 teaspoonful.

Let them stand 15 or 20 minutes, strain, bottle.


For a child, one to two teaspoonsful according to age; for an adult, one to two tablespoonsful to be taken every two, three, or four hours, according to the severity of the complaint.

Perseverance with the above medicine, together with careful attention to the general directions laid down will, in all cases, speedily result in the desired end – the cure.


This is a contagious and infectious disease, characterized by a peculiar cough – termed a hoop – occurring in fits, usually terminated by vomiting. It is caused primarily by the action of a specific poison on the system of nerves presiding over the functions of respiration. It is a disease of childhood and most frequently occurs between the ages of four months and six years.


The patient is usually attacked with fits of violent, rapid, interrupted coughing, alternating with long- drawn, shrill, crowing inspirations; the seizure usually ending with the expectoration of a thick, glairy mucus, or in actual vomiting. During the fits the features become red, or bluish, the eyes start, and the child appears to be threatened with instant suffocation. It is a disease which generally runs a certain course, and rarely attacks the same person twice; it may coexist with other diseases, such as small-pox, measles, etc., but it also sometimes disappears on the appearance of an eruptive disease. Treatment. Many cases of hooping cough are so mild as to need no other treatment than hygienic care, and a proper regard to the temperature of the room the child occupies in the cold seasons of the year.

In children over three years of age the disease is usually slight and regular. The following medicine is excellent in all cases of hooping cough;


Pleurisy Root, bruised … 1 ounce.

Boil in half a pint of water for ten minutes,

Pour the boiling liquid on to Black Cohosh powder … 1 ounce.

Let it stand until cold, strain, and

Add two tablespoonsful of the Cherry Bark Cough Balsam; mix well.


Half a teaspoonful to two teaspoonsful to be taken every two or three hours. The quantity regulated according to age.

A strong tea of red clover heads and leaves is a good thing in severe cases of hooping cough.

Where the little patient is emaciated, friction over the whole surface of the body with warm olive oil will be found to aid in the support of the body.

In winter the child should be kept in an equable temperature, but with free ventilation; its diet, milk and bread, raw eggs, ripe fruit; no sugar if the patient has been weaned; if it is still at the breast the mother must live on good nourishing diet. Olive oil will be found an excellent aperient for children suffering from this disease.

Or, following the general directions, give the patient doses of the following mixture:


Coca Leaf 1/4 ounce.

Clover Leaf and Heads 2 ounces,

Black Cohosh Powder ¼ ounce

Pour on to these ingredients half a pint of boiling soft water, let them stand for twenty minutes, strain, add a little sugar if necessary

Dose: One to three teaspoonsful, according to age, to to be taken every three hours.


This disease is confined to childhood. It is one of the most alarming diseases to which children are subject, being sudden in its attack, and rapid in its results.


The application of cold is an exciting cause, and, as a consequence, it occurs more frequently during the winter months; damp, changeable atmosphere ; insufficient clothing; epidemic miasma.


It is ushered in, usually at night, by a loud ringing and hoarseness of the voice, sometimes a rattling in the throat during sleep is heard. Afterward the breathing becomes rapid and difficult, and the voice husky or absent, and the breath as if passing through a narrow tube, and in speaking or coughing it acquires a shrill and peculiar sound, similar to the crowing of the cock. Quick pulse, thirst, hot and dry skin. The cough is dry, but after a time a viscid matter is brought up, and in some cases flakes or tubes of false membrane, with efforts often so distressing as to threaten suffocation.

The inflammation is peculiar, as depending on plasticity of the blood. The difficulty of breathing arises from the formation of a false membrane in the larynx, or from spasm.


Promptness and decision are always necessary to successfully treat this disease, delay or inattention may result in a fatal termination.

When the symptoms commence, give, as soon as possible, closes of the following mixture:


Blood Root, in powder 1/4 ounce.

Pour on this half a pint of boiling water, let it stand for ten minutes, strain

Add two teaspoonsful of Compound Essence of Cocaine. Keep it warm.

Let the patient drink one or two teaspoonsful every twenty minutes.

Apply externally, to the throat a flannel wrung out of the following mixture:

Hot Vinegar 4 ounces

Compound Essence of Cocaine one tablespoonful, mix, keep it warm

Change the flannels every five or eight minutes. Continue this treatment until the urgent symptoms are somewhat abated, the medicine may then be given at longer intervals.

If the disease is very severe give an emetic powder. Let the patient drink freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine in warm sweetened water.

Or, let the following treatment be carried out.


Lobelia and Blood Root, in powder, of each 1 teaspoonful.

Composition Powder … half a teaspoonful.

Pour on the above half a pint of boiling water, let them stand for ten or fifteen minutes, strain, slightly sweeten, keep warm.


One to three teaspoonsful every twenty minutes until the more urgent symptoms are abated.

Prepare the following mixture and apply externally: Cayenne Pepper, one teaspoonful, boiling Vinegar, half a pint, salt, a tablespoonful, mix; keep warm, and apply cloths wrung out of it to the throat. Foot baths are useful. The patient may drink infusion of Coca Leaf with advantage.

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